Design Codes


There are varieties of codes regulating the design and construction of buildings and building interiors. There are also a number of standards and federal laws that regulate buildings and construction industry.

The regulations require the designer to comply with the standards set by referring to guidelines for Indoor Environmental Quality in the new International Green Construction Code. Interior designers are responsible for determining the locations where live plants can occupy in a building (Harmon, Sharon and Kennon 305). This essay argues in support of the proposed Interior Plants Density regulations.

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Definition of requirements

Designers, building constructors and building occupants have realized the aesthetics and risks associated with the interior living plants. The proposal defines the areas where an interior living plant can be incorporated as regularly occupied spaces with distinct measures. The project elective clarifies the proposed changes and improves the practicality in implementation.

The proposal clarifies issues concerning occupancy, provide consistence definition of terms, and sticks to the relevant scopes of the proposal by deleting terms referring to outdoor assemblies. The proposal defines the unit value for planting bed. Though, the value remains constant it does modify the density requirements.

The proposal recognizes the fact that distribution requirements of plants may be inappropriate in some cases e.g. in movie theaters. It is flexible enough to allow changes in location of plants where appropriate, without changing the overall density requirements.

The proposal clarifies that the plant expose to the soil surface determines it size. The proposed interior plants project elective provides exceptions depending on the nature and use of the building. The proposal exempts buildings where interior plants present hazards, interfere with indoor air management, and present unique hazards to building processes and occupants. Such buildings include hospitals, industries, and laboratories among others. Such cases might be determined by the code official. The ultimate benefit is that the proposed changes will not increase the cost of construction.

Individual and public involvement

Most organizations have their own procedures for changing and updating the requirements in their publications. The proposed changes in interior plants density used a consensus method to revise the publication. Individuals were able to identify discrepancies in the proposed changes.

For instance, inspection and issuing of certificate of occupancy, verification after the plants are in place may result into enforcement dilemma. The enforcing authority may not have a regulatory mechanism to ensure compliance. The public proponents ensured consistency with definitions and content of the proposal. For instance, the changing of the definition of “occupied floor area” to “net floor area” provided consistency of terms between the International Building Code and the International Green Construction Code in relations to determining the floor area. In this provision, net floor area means the actual occupied area with exclusion of unoccupied areas such as toilet rooms, corridors, stairway, closets, and mechanical areas. Most respondents shared similar sentiments to show that the proposed interior plant density presented similar concerns. The involvements of individuals and the public provided forums to ensure that there were adequate representations for all types of occupancies and building types.

It is also necessary to note that the jurisdiction choose what regulations or part of the publication to adopt. Jurisdictions have the authority to make various changes and amendments that can either add or delete parts of the code. It is essential to keep the public aware of which codes the officials are enforcing so as to ensure compliance.

Works Cited

Harmon, Sharon and Kennon, Katherine. The Codes Guidebook for Interiors, 4th Edition.

New Jersey: John Wiley & Sons, 2008. Print.


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